Hillary Clinton called on the FBI to come forward immediately with “full and complete facts” they are pursuing in the investigation of her private email server.
Just 11 more days until the Nov. 8 election, the Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State addressed the email probe during a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, the same day the agency’s director alerted Congress to the new “investigative steps” they are taking. The emails were reportedly pulled from the devices of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner, who has been embroiled in ongoing sexting scandals.
“I have now seen Director Comey’s letter to Congress. We are 11 days out from perhaps the most national election of our lifetimes. Voting is underway, so the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” Clinton, 69, said in her opening remarks.
“We’ve heard these rumors. We don’t know what to believe. I’m sure there will be even more rumors,” she explained about the new emails being connected to Abedin and Weiner. “That’s why it is incumbent upon on the FBI to tell us what they’re talking about, because right now your guess is as good as mine, and I don’t think that’s good enough so we’ve made it very clear that if they’re going to be sending this kind of letter, that is only going originally to Republican members of the House that they need to share whatever facts they claim to have with the American people, and that’s what I expect to happen.”
It is unclear how long the FBI’s new investigation will take, FBI Director James Comey said Friday in his letter notifying congressional chairmen that the bureau was reviewing the emails in relation to the original Clinton probe. Comey also said he “cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.”
“We have not been contacted by anyone. First we knew about it is I assume when you knew about it when this letter sent to Republican members of the House was released,” Clinton said during the press conference. “We don’t know the facts which is why we are calling on the FBI to release all the information that it has, even Director Comey noted that this new information may not be significant so let’s get it out.”
The FBI closed its initial investigation into Clinton’s private email server in July, with Comey recommending to the Justice Department that “no charges were appropriate” in the case. However, Comey did acknowledge that there was “evidence of potential violations” in Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of classified information.
“I’m confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July. Therefore, it’s imperative that the Bureau explain this issue in question whatever it is without any delay,” Clinton stressed, concluding, “So I look forward to moving forward to focus on the important challenges facing the American people, winning on November 8 and working with all Americans to build a better future for our country.”
And on why voters should not lose trust in her, Clinton remarked: “I think a long time ago people made up their minds about the emails, I think that’s factored in to what people think and now they’re choosing a president so I would urge everybody to get out and vote early and all the states that have early voting because I think Americans want a president who can lead our country, who can get the economy working for everyone not just those at the top and who can bring our country together. I offer that, I can do that and I’m confident that the American people know that and we’re going to continue to discuss what’s at stake in this election because I believe this election is one of the consequential elections ever.”
Responding in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Hillary for America Chair John Podesta said, “Upon completing this investigation more than three months ago, FBI Director Comey declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this and added that it was not even a close call. In the months since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been baselessly second-guessing the FBI and, in both public and private, browbeating the career officials there to revisit their conclusion in a desperate attempt to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”
“FBI Director Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen,” continued the statement. “Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation but Comey’s words do not match that characterization. Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the Director himself notes they may not even be significant. It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.”
Podesta also said that Comey “owes it to the American people” to provide more details on the new emails, and concluded, “We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”